Achieve Year-Round Aesthetic Interest with a Variety of Plant Materials

By Scott B. Brickman CEO, Brickman | October 28, 2008

One of the first things guests notice upon arriving at a hotel is its landscaping. It is also one of the most crucial - and overlooked - aspects of building customer satisfaction. Since repeat guests are your best customers, it is important to maintain a fresh new look that will keep them entertained and returning for years to come.

But keeping your landscape fresh and up to date with changing seasonal aesthetics is challenging for many hotel executives - especially in areas like Southern California and Texas where there is little seasonal variation to the landscape. Color, climate and different light exposures all factor into the design and maintenance of an interesting landscape with a year-round aesthetic interest.

The best way to go about creating a year-round aesthetic is to carefully examine your hotel's property needs during each season. Spring and summer are times for inventive design, creativity and cultivation. During the fall and winter, your efforts should be focused on preserving and maintaining your landscape.

This article offers landscape design tips for spring and summer and preservation tips for fall and winter. By taking a seasonal approach to landscape design maintenance, you can create an aesthetic appeal that lasts year-round.

Spring & Summer: Create Aesthetic Value

To freshen up the look of your property, it is important to think creatively about how you can use colors and materials that accent your property's best features while also adding a seasonal twist. In dry regions like Texas and the Southwest, color areas should be changed out two to three times per year, beginning with spring annuals, followed by heat tolerant annuals in the summer months and planted annuals in the cooler fall months.

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.